Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Zibbet recognizes Eid!

I am very happy to report that will be recognizing Eid as a holiday under its choice of categories. For those that do not know, Eid is an Arabic word for 'celebration' and usually represents the two major holidays in the Islamic faith: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al- Adha.

Zibbet has decided to acknowledge all three major faiths and for this I am very grateful and thankful. In celebration of this major event, I'd like to recognize other artists that list on Zibbet and use the Eid tag:

Beadwizzard makes these gorgeous moon and star earrings with all types of stones attached. You can choose from blue, yellow, red or green. But if you can't decide which one will look brilliant on your ears, you might want to get more than one!

If you are looking for a unique gift, how about this Personalized Paper Name Portrait by sitinuriatistudio. Individually hand cut and layered together, the finished piece is then adhered to a white backing board, signed and dated at the back. It's sure to brighten up any room!

If you are creating a craft project and are in need of some Shell Assorted Moon Beads, how about these beauties from YinYangGirlDesigns? Can you believe you get 100 for such a low price? What a bargain!

Thinking of traveling for Hajj? Then you'll certainly need this Eco Yellow Moon and Stars Passport Cover by WrapCycle. This cheery yellow and white checked passport cover is machine-embroidered with a crescent moon and bright star. You also have the option of getting it personalized with a name or initials.

And last but certainly not least, is this beautiful set of earrings by SpiritReflections. These delightful matching celestial elements dangle from gold leverback ear wires. And how cool is it that they are eco-friendly and made from modified and repurposed buttons?

Be sure to check out these sellers and support Zibbet with this historical decision as being the ONLY online craft venue to recognize Eid along with Christmas and Hanukkah.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Turning your Photos into Colouring pages with Photoshop

I took some great photos in Egypt and Turkey (2061 of them!) and there is no way I can show them to everyone here. Next week I will be sitting my children down and making them go through the whole Powerpoint presentation, but you don't have to suffer like that (unless you also didn't clean your room, in which case you'll be invited too).

Two years ago I got Adobe Photoshop and it sat in my computer gathering dust as I just couldn't figure out how to work it. Yes, I went to the YouTube videos, website and even was too much of a dummy to figure out "Photoshop for Dummies." But recently I started going in and playing with only one or two features at a time and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. I'm not going to be teaching a class or anything, but I can at least get a few things done. One thing I learned is how to take a photo and turn it into a colouring page. So that's what I'll be doing with my thousands of beautiful flower and mosques shots: turning them into colouring pages for my girls (once they have clean rooms).

Here are the steps so you can do it yourself:

1 - Make a copy of your photo and open the copy in Photoshop. Name it something else so you can tell the difference between the original and the copy. Flower1 and Flowercopy works well.

2 - Once in Photoshop, click on Layers and make a Duplicate Layer of your image.

3 - Check to see if your default ink colour is black if you want a black and white colouring page. Then go to Filter, click on Sketch and then Photocopy. Play around with the Detail and Darkness buttons until you get the effects you like. Once you like what you see, click on OK.

4 - This is when you can play around with your image before you save it. If you want to erase some lines, add some lines, resize, add text, etc. There are all kinds of buttons you can play with and discover on the left hand side (I have Photoshop Elements 7, you might have your buttons in a different location). When you're done, save your image as a JPEG file.

Ya'lla, you now have a colour page in four super easy steps. Put a few of them together and make a book, or print them out one at a time (double sided of course) to give to the kids.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Top Etsy Shops for Muslims by the MuslimTeam Street Team

Etsy is an online selling community that enables people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.

MuslimTeam on Etsy Logo Proudly carried in each shop.
Here is the group of sellers that created a MuslimTeam street team on Etsy back in December 2008:

A Crafty Arab - A Crafty Arab strengths Arab American heritage and language by creating handmade educational tools that are fun and colourful.
Etsy shop:
Home shop:

Gwendolyns Design - Gwendolyn's Designs creates beaded necklaces, bracelets and hijab pins.
Etsy shop:

Hijabi Shoppe - Hijabi Shoppe by Badra Boutique was the very first Etsy store that catered to the needs of our Muslim sisters and brothers by offering simple, yet beautiful modest clothing. Many of the designs are classics, but with modern and classy fabric.
Etsy shop:

Jujube Hijab Pins – Jujbe Hijab Pins makes unique pins for hijabs, scarves or shawls.
Etsy shop:

Moth Written - moth designs' line of arabic t shirts, tote bags, pins, and handbags strives to create positive dialogue about the arabic-speaking world through bright, gentle quirk
Etsy shop:

Muslamb – Muslamb designs cards, invitations, imprintables, stationary and the occasional silk-screened tee.
Etsy shop: http:///

Soumayyah's Toybox – Soumayyaah’s Toybox creates faceless dolls that are in line with the Islamic faith.
Etsy Shop:

If you are interested in joining this Street Team, your store must contain obvious Muslim or Islamic items to qualify to be in the team.

Your store items must be completely handmade by you and not mass produced somewhere else.

You do not have to be Muslim to join, but we ask that if you are not, that you are at least Muslim friendly.

We ask that you state on your store front page that you are a member of our team. Also put the team tag on your listing tags so that we may include your items in treasuries {updated to add our Pinterest board}.

To join, please contact me.

To read more about the campaign for Etsy to add Eid as a tag, please visit this forum post. You can also join the Facebook group Please Etsy add Eid to your tags.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This is a very crazy story that I need to share

Before we went to Turkey, I asked my dad why there is a photo of me at my 1st birthday in Turkey. I was curious as I had originally thought that my folks were just there on vacation. My dad then told me this story:

When the Italians invaded Libya, my great grandfather was worried they would take his two sons and kill them. This was common back then in times of war. Kill the sons so that they do not fight against the occupying army. So he took them to Turkey and left them in an orphanage. He had hopes that some day, after the occupation, he would go back and get them. He left them at an orphanage because he didn't know anyone in Turkey. He decided to keep his daughter at home and not take her because she would be safer with her parents.

Then tragedy struck and my great grandfather died. So my great uncles grew up in Turkey, got adopted by a local family and proceeded to learn Turkish and adjust to their new home. Flash forward to my own grandmother growing up without her brothers, meeting my grandfather, getting married and having seven kids. Only two of the children survived a childhood illness and this makes my grandmother realize that she really wants to find her brothers. After my parents met and got married, my dad decided to take his mother to meet her brothers. So we all went and that is how I celebrated my first birthday in Turkey. But again, ties were lost and no one kept in touch and sadly my grandmother died years ago.

So I went to Turkey with this amazing story but with no hopes that any family members would be found. Their last name is very common (almost like a Smith here) and they weren’t even close to Istanbul (where DH and I were) last time my folks visited. A week ago, a family member from the Turkish side went to Libya in hopes of finding his family. He tracked down my grandmother’s house and found my cousins who still live in the neighborhood. Of course they contacted my father via Facebook and yesterday my dad emailed me a complete family tree of the two great granduncles that is two pages long. On the second page at the very bottom is my grandmother, her two sons, their wives and me. Since my first birthday is the only contact they had with our family, they have no idea that my uncle has seven sons, one daughter and many many grandchildren. Also missing are my brothers, our spouses and combined children.

Now family members are finding each other back and forth on Facebook and it’s pretty wild. The biggest problem is that we don’t speak Turkish and they don’t speak Arabic or English, so it’s been a challenge to communicate but my dad is beyond ecstatic. I also got a second picture of me blowing out the cake with my grandmother next to me which trilled me since I don’t have many photos of her. When we left Libya,we had to leave all our personal items behind, which unfortunately included all our photos. I only get a few every so often when relatives who can get into the country are able to sneak them out.

So that’s it, I’m blown away that I have a whole extended family in Turkey and I think I need to return someday! I’m still trying to come to grips with it all. Thanks for reading my share.

Oh, and today is my dad's birthday, so Happy Birthday Baba!!!